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Churchill's Desert Rats in North Africa, Burma, Sicily and Italy (Paperback)

7th Armoured Division's Campaigns, 1940–1943

WWII Churchill North Africa in WWII Italian Front in WWII Victoria Crosses El Alamein Military

By Patrick Delaforce
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 224
ISBN: 9781848840393
Published: 21st May 2009
Last Released: 8th June 2009



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This well researched and well written book covers the early campaigns and battles that earned The Desert Rats their fame and name.

This volume covers the difficult early years when ultimate victory was less than certain. The Nazis were victorious on many fronts and Britain stood alone. Indeed it was at El Alamein that 7 Armoured Division and the rest of Montgomery's Eighth Army turned the tide. The church bells rang out in Britain and a new spirit was born. But much fighting lay ahead and many were to die. The successful completion of the North African campaign led to the invasion of Sicily and the long slog up Italy.

The Desert Rats were at the forefront of these campaigns. Three Victoria Crosses were won in the desert and many famous names were associated with the Division, such as Field Marshal Lord Carver and Major General Pip Roberts.

The Division's story is told by many first hand contributions and is the result of painstaking research by the author who was also a 'Desert Rat'.

Delaforce served in Europe during World War II, then had a bit of a business career before starting to write about war and travel. Here he follows the British Eighth Army and the Seventh Armoured Division, which took the jerboa, or desert rat, as an emblem. His topics include the cherry picker war, triumph at Beda Fomm, Operation Crusader, Operations Lightfoot and Supercharge in the Second Battle of Alamein, forward to Tunis, and the Black Jerboa in Italy.

Book News

This book is a must for all amateur historians. Delaforce's personalisation of warfare is his strong card, and on this note he does not disappoint.

Soldier Magazine
 Patrick Delaforce

About Patrick Delaforce

Patrick Delaforce served with 11th Armoured Division during the advance through NW Europe.

After a career in the wine trade he became a professional writer. Among his books in print with Pen and Sword are Churchill’s Desert Rats in North Africa, Burma, Sicily and Italy, Wellington Le Beau and Monty’s Marauders.

In 2015 he was appointed to the rank of Chavalier in the Ordre National de la Legion d’honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour). This is in recognition of his ‘acknowledged military engagement and steadfast involvement in the Liberation of France during the Second World War’.

WWII: Eighth Army Command given to Montgomery

13th August 1941

With the death of Lieutenant General William 'Strafer' Gott, who was given the command of the Eight Army on 3 August, Churchill's plans to split Middle East Command into two parts is dropped and overall command given to General Sir Harold Alexander. Gott's command of the Eighth Army is given to Lieutenant General Bernard Law Montgomery.

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